Airbag headaches inflate European car recalls for first quarter of 2017

Rebecca Smith
Germany, France and the UK were the top three countries flagging faulty vehicles
Germany, France and the UK were the top three countries flagging faulty vehicles (Source: Getty)

Auto recalls across Europe spiked during the first quarter of the year with faulty airbags a significant contributory factor.

According to the recall and notification index developed by Stericycle Expert Solutions, motor recalls rose to 122, a 31 per cent rise on the fourth quarter of last year.

Of the vehicle recalls for the period, airbags accounted for 41.4 per cent of the incidents in passenger vehicles, compared to 18.3 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Airbags have been an issue for the car industry for the past couple of years after faulty airbags at car parts maker Takata have led to recalls across the world, with many major car firms affected.

Overall, 80 per cent of recalls were due to injuries, with customer complaints the trigger in each case for the initial recall investigation.

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Stericycle noted that the sector was also buffeted by a number of machinery-related issues.

Germany topped the list of countries with the most recalls at 40, followed by France with 29 and then the UK with 14. More than 90 per cent of the UK's recalls affected luxury brands or high-end vehicles.

Farzad Henareh, European vice president at Stericycle Expert Solutions, said:

“Looking at an average of auto recalls over the past year it is clear to see just how sharp the rise has been. It is no secret that motor manufacturers have had challenges to deal with which are clearly reflected in the number of recalls and notifications.”

Henareh added that the rise of driverless vehicles and their development could throw another spanner in the works for car firms.

“As the number of connected and autonomous vehicles entering the market increases, these advancements will only add to the complexity,” he said.

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